Cheerleaders are essential

There are a few consistent cheerleaders in my inner circle. These people are some of the most important partners in my artistic venture. I create, draw, paint, design and develop, first for myself and then also for an audience. Creating art, the process of working with my hands and making something is a reward and can be satisfying in and of itself. Art is also created to be shared and enjoyed by others. The positive feedback an artist receives is like gas for a car, essential for the car to move forward.

If you know an artist in your life, encourage them. Speak life and let them know what it is in their work that you enjoy. Be specific, these words of affirmation are building blocks that the artist uses to move forward when creating their next piece. Your words of encouragement build their confidence to continue.

Illustration: Travis Foster

Some of the best work an artist creates are personal pieces. Non-commissioned, non-commercial pieces that we create solely for ourselves. Artists create, it’s in our lifeblood, it’s the way we are wired, we must create. It’s as essential as breathing. The icing on the cake is when someone else takes a moment to let us know what it is they specifically enjoy about what it is we are creating.

Be a cheerleader. Heart that image. Give a thumbs up. Be specific about what it is you enjoy in the art from the artists you know.

I would like to thank the cheerleader’s in my life. Sarah Foster, Ethan Long, Kevin Burns, JoLynda Watts, Michael Korfhage, Andrew Raby, Ashley Bass Huttinger, Bryan Hollister, Michael David Foster, Sherri Newill, Charles Lams, Michael Miller, Melissa Manlove and John Haney. You guys are the best, thanks for your consistent and genuine encouragement. It means more to me than you know.

Madison Little League, 1979. Travis Foster (the kid without the hat, Coach Larkins was a great coach)

When I was a kid, growing up, I played a lot of baseball. Played organized ball for ten years. Each year I would receive the best team spirit award. I always cheered for the other players, had the biggest lungs and kept talking through the whole game, cheering the other players on. Today, that same attribute helps our illustration agency grow and thrive. I enjoy being one of the biggest cheerleaders on the field.

Photo: Ethan Long and Travis Foster, Nashville, January 2017, Ethan knows how to encourage others.

Travis Foster is a freelance illustrator, illustration agent, cartoonist, children’s book author, husband and dad to four. Travis Foster Reps and Cartoon Zoo are both based in Nashville.